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2017-02-16

Ruede-Rainey 1905 Cabin

By Raymond V. Carter, Jr. BCHC Research Historian

Everyone who has ever restored or preserved an old, and I mean "ole' worn out", structure knows what it is like, especially if you do the work yourself. You have to be partly crazy, but you know you love it! Back around July of 2016, my neighbor, Scott Rainey, started restoring a one hundred and eleven year old wood frame home on the property he purchased. I must say here that l am blessed with good neighbors, who have always given a helping hand. Anyway, he asked for some help and I showed him a few pointers on leveling the old lady and gave a little help on framing, since she had little or no framed walls at all. The outside 1"x12" boarding was all that was holding up the roof. The cabin, as I call her, was leveled starting at the corner where the original fireplace and chimney stand. The fireplace and chimney were still straight and level and as the cabin was being leveled the cabin pulled right back into place with it. Scott preserved the original flooring inside the cabin and along with the original outside wood walls, restored her personal character and charm. A simple little structure, of very humble beginnings, gives a true historical perspective of pioneer life. From looking underneath at the cedar blocks and from the attic, it is plain to see that it was originally a one–room home. Later three more rooms were added, the last being a porch closed in when indoor plumbing became a much appreciated convenience. Anyone who is old enough to remember using an outdoor privy will understand, and I don't mean occasionally at the hunting lease or at a concert, but I mean all the time, winter and summer. When I was an infant we had a three seater. We were up town, two for the girls and one for the boys. And don't forget to look for spiders! Ok, enough reminiscing.
The structure was originally built in early 1905, after Charles "Charley" Alexander and Pearl Clark where married. They were married at Pipe Creek on December 14, 1904. Otto Ruede and Charles Ruede (brothers) purchased the property, upon which the cabin stands, on April 1, 1897, from Simon Amacher of Cibolo, Guadalupe County, Texas. Melchor Amacher, according to the Texas General Land Office records, received an unconditional Head Right Certificate for three hundred and twenty acres of land, it was issued to him by the Board of Land Commissioners of Bexar County. It was certificate No. 1 of the 4th Class head right and dated the 3rd of May, 1841. Melchor Amacher of Guadalupe County, assigned half of the head right, which was 160 acres or Survey No. 253 and is located on Bear Creek near the junction with Privilege Creek, to Gustavus Schleicher for one hundred dollars on September 24, 1857. The other half of the head right or Survey No. 252 is located on Bear Springs Creek just north of where it joins with Pipe Creek and is the160 acres of land that Otto and Charles Ruede purchased from Simon Amacher in 1897.
On September 8, 1906, Otto Ruede and his wife, Helena, sold their one-half interest (80 acres) in Survey No. 252 to Charles Ruede for $100.00. On January 7th, 1919, Charles A. and Pearl Ruede leased their properties for $27.75 for a period of five years for the "purpose of mining and operating for oil and gas," etc. The Ruedes were to receive a one-eighth royalty and $250.00, in advance for the gas (only) produced from each well. The Ruedes also had the right to connect a pipeline (at "his own risk and expense") to each well for "free gas" to be used in the principal dwelling house "for all stoves and all inside lights." The lease also stated that, "No well shall be drilled nearer than 200 feet to the house or barn now on the premises.. .." I am not aware of any oil or gas well ever being drilled on the Ruede farm.
Charles A. Ruede was born on July 17, 1879 at Pipe Creek and was the son of Alexander "Alex" (1846-1880) and Wilhelmine "Minna" (nee Luerson/1848-1912) Ruede. Pearl Ruede was born January 13, 1887 and died February 10, 1979. Pearl was the daughter of Wilson Lafayette Clark and Louisa "Lou" M. Dunn. Charles and Pearl Ruede are buried in the Pipe Creek Cemetery along with other members of their family.
The little cabin is nestled in and amongst some of the most gracious and grand live oak trees In Texas. It sits on a rise just above Bear Springs Creek, which out of its banks flows several springs that are complimented by the native rock, beautiful green fern and vegetation. From the back porch of the cabin one can take in the view and sound of the flowing waters along the rocky creek that is a "hill country trade mark" for relaxation and peacefulness. The stream widens and deepens into a small clear lake that welcomes a swim that can offer some relief after a full day of restoration work. Scott has hired some help to restore the cabin, but also has received a great deal of help from his friends and family.
Scott has had the cabin modernized; rewired, insulated and climate controlled. This way it will be used and its preservation is now guaranteed for some time to come. At one time he spoke of using sheetrock for the interior, but through some whining of an unnamed party, he chose to use the old lumber from this and other old structures and barns. This has given the cabin a masterful look of antiquity and charm. Scott used old beaded board on the ceilings, which fits the historic character realistic of the time period of the home. The fireplace has had some modifications over the years, but Scott has not altered it in any way. The old chimney stone was evidently hand cut and quarried locally. Some of the Ruede family members scratched their initials into the chimney stones. Those that could be read are WWR, which might be Woodrow W. Ruede's initials and HMR, which might be Hulda Ruede's initials. "Paul Machael McCall, son of Mildred, 10-2-41" was also carved in the stone. Also carved was the date 11-1930. Murry, Howard, Woodrow, Hulda, Arlie , Mildred and Wayne were children of Charles and Pearl Ruede. Many other initials, JGM, GKM, PM, AM, TM, and LM, that are evident, have not been identified. A rock and concrete gallery was added to the front of the cabin and drawn on the first step is "Oct. 1, 1942, Arlie (Ruede) Pingleton." From this front gallery the owners captured the beautiful view of the farmed fields and surrounding hills of this valley.
The Bandera County Historical Commission would like to extended its utmost heart filled appreciation to Scott and Mary Lou Rainey for their efforts in restoring and preserving this little part of Bandera's heritage. It could have easily been raised and lost forever. Though it is not a grand mansion or historic structure, it is however of great historic significance, because it is a clear representation of the beginnings of the small rancher and farmer. The pioneers who started out with humble beginnings, and are commonly called "True Texans" in these parts!